|Twisted Parallax at a Glance|
|Last Monarch||Jobtp (Purged/deleted) of Flush|
|Member crew(s)||The Bleeding Hearties, Devil Rays, Flush, Heart Pirates, Iceholes, One of a Kind, Queen Annes Revenge-West, Schists Rebels, Sea Goats|
|Founded||11 June, 2010|
|Abandoned as of 2 December, 2013|
Twisted Parallax is a defunct flag on the Emerald Ocean created on Sage. It reached the top spot on the ocean's fame list on 2 May 2011 and maintained a constant presence on the Sage, and then Emerald, blockading scene from March 2011 to May 2012. The flag is currently inactive.
- 1 Philosophy
- 2 History
- 3 Blockade history at a glance
"I believe we're the embodiment and definition of what a flag is and should be - a bunch of like-minded people who are prepared work [sic] together and take the extra mile to support one another."
--Skinnymonkey, farewell address, 30 April 2012
Twisted Parallax has been seen as a wild card in ocean politics due to several characteristics that set it apart from its contemporaries.
Throughout its history Twisted Parallax boasted blockade teams drawn mostly from active members of the flag. On multiple occasions the team was composed of upwards of 90% in-flag membership, and in one case, Gauntlet XLVII, both the attacking team and the defending team were 100% TP. Its blockade funds also, for the most part, come from the pockets of its members, who collectively donated over 27 million PoE to the flag's blockade funds as well as countless ships and stock.
While placing a heavy emphasis on cooperation with allies in terms of both jobber support, timing of blockades, and blockade nav staff, TP's guiding principle, despite the controversy that arose at its first blockade, was that blockades ought to be won on the merits of the skills and contributions of every flag member. According to one forum poster after TP pulled out of Admiral L before even round 1 was over due to Blades of Sage's tremendous hike in pay while ahead on jobbing:
"Twisted Parallax have never allied third parties to win kades for them. Use a precedence [sic] to work facts out for yourself. They have honour in kading, and yet they're shot in the foot."
Aside from blockade donations, which were overwhelmingly smaller donations in the four to five-figure range as opposed to donations on the order of millions or ten millions, it was overwhelmingly the efforts of flag members that raised funds in other ways; selling themselves out in officer auctions was one common way of doing this. The forage operation, which raised what is called in economist jargon "a big-ass amount of money", also saw very little intervention from royals; it was run by certain titled members specifically delegated that task.
Meritocracy and limited democracy
Twisted Parallax never based its royalty appointments or even titled member appointments based on "crew representation"; titles were given out to people who would do specific jobs. Political decisions, in addition, were usually thrown to the titled members for voting (a specific section of the forums was made specifically for that purpose) and the flag forums were used for discussion among untitled members as well. In order to counteract the general feeling of opaqueness of political decisions, the biweekly newsletter TP Weekly was started in January 2011 to inform the entire flag of political developments, events, and blockades.
Twisted Parallax always had a populist element to its policies toward other flags--unsurprising, since the flag was founded on a rotating monarch format and the principle that no single crew should have more than one royal at the top. As the flag entered the blockading scene it later used resentment against the dominant hegemony on the ocean, the Illium Eternae/Eternal Glory/plus League of Light and Midknight Sun alliance ring, to garner support. Later, when there was no hegemon, TP switched to a policy of general non-alignment, with no set predictor for its support.
Rocky beginnings (June 2010 – February 2011)
Twisted Parallax's inception dates back to a falling-out between Skinnymonkey and his previous flag's monarch. Along with Yourcharm and Zelshanqio, the three founded Twisted Parallax on 11 June 2010, aiming to become a flag worthy of being mentioned and owning a capable in-flag blockade team.
Political problems hampered this goal early on in the flag’s career; by January 2011 Skinnymonkey was the only original founding member left as a royal. The situation was even more chaotic with respect to the flag’s alliances: in the autumn of 2010 TP established an alliance with Notorious and Gnome Depot. Later in the year the alliance ring was consolidated with the alliance between TP and Magnata Established. This alliance, however, disintegrated quickly due to the sudden collapse of Gnome Depot and management changes in Notorious. According to flag royal Narcky:
“Gnome Depot has de facto collapsed, with only Hyosuke and the Dark Chaos remaining in the flag... [We'll] be trying to convince Hyosuke to join us (yay!) but if that doesn't work out we'll be dissolving the alliance, based on the fact that the original alliance was made with Fresno and Fresna, and that ‘Gnome Depot’ is merely a brand, not representative of the flag it once was.”
--Narcky, TP Weekly, 26 January 2011
In January 2011 TP officials met with officials from flags including No Surrender, Don’t Even Try, Margaritaville, Olympian Armada, and others at a meeting convened by Sedna of Jigsaw Tessellators. While the possibility of an alliance with JT fell through, the idea of an alliance with the “rejects” appealed to several royals, especially regarding an opposition network to the dominant ocean alliance led Illium Eternae and Eternal Glory. One of the more radical voices at these discussions was Strunz of Margaritaville, who eventually proposed merging into TP in exchange for a name change and one royal position. Talks fell through, however, once “[Twisted Parallax] realized that [Margaritaville was] being incredibly nitpicky about royal apportionment and [Margaritaville] realized that [Twisted Parallax was], in fact, poor.” The merger and even the alliance with Margaritaville were taken off the table, and the alliance ring coalesced around TP, No Surrender, and Don’t Even Try in late February 2011.
Mainstream success (February 2011 – April 2011)
In February 2011 the flag kicked blockade preparation into high gear. A month later the flag released its first ever blockade intent on Sage Parley for Penobscot XXXVI. On 27 March Twisted Parallax entered the blockade board for the first time against Eternal Glory, boasting an entirely in-flag blockade team and winning the first two rounds. The blockade, however, was highly contentious and rife with miscommunication, as a fire in the jobbing contact’s dorm caused TP to raise pay while ahead in jobbers, leading EG to raise pay and return the war declaration to make the blockade sinking. Under the mounting pressures of rising pay (unusual for an island of Penobscot’s obscurity) and a sinking blockade, as well as being significantly out-navigated in the third round, TP conceded the blockade shortly before the end of round 3. In a twist of good luck for TP, however, No Surrender entered and won the blockade on their behalf in round 5. According to TP’s board admiral:
“Twisted Parallax is extremely fortune [sic] to have some amazing friends. After pulling out, numerous individuals offered stock, pay, ships, etc. About 20 people offered to puzzle for free. We turned this down and withdrew; furthermore, our royals (save for one) all logged off. Our Land Admiral logged off. I logged off until 20 minutes into R5....
If you notice, we have not accepted any alliance requests to people that played in R4. NS was an existing (awesome) alliance, which, given our royals not being online, means they entered under our banner regardless. This action was spearheaded by other individuals; if you want an explanation, then I suggest you talk to them.”
Despite the controversy, the victory over EG established TP as a new blockading power on the ocean.
Golden age and non-alignment (April 2011 - January 2012)
Shortly after Penobscot XXXVI, TP entered a period of sustained growth throughout the spring of 2011, taking on eight new crews and more than 200 new members. It topped the ocean fame list on 2 May 2011. As a result of its victory at Bowditch XXVIII against League of Light, the flag won its first large island. Even in April, however, tensions were palpable between TP and No Surrender, while Don't Even Try underwent a sudden coup in which its monarch was, oddly enough, voted out of office. As a result, the alliance ring was dissolved and TP went several months with no alliances, serving as the unaffiliated rallying point for those opposed to the IE/EG hegemony and tacitly supporting its opponents. A policy of non-alignment, allowing the flag to gain influence among those dissatisfied by the back-and-forth between Blades of Sage and Illium Eternae as well as among the Blades of Sage alliance itself, proved successful for TP during the summer of 2011. However, as more flags found success against the IE/EG web, the web slowly declined in influence, leaving TP as a prime isolated target. In the new diplomatic state of affairs non-alignment was equivalent to isolation, so TP allied itself with Community Revolution and No Apologies, founded by former TP member Kyubi.
Throughout the second half of the year TP embarked on a goodwill campaign and developed a reputation for hosting fun events with, in accordance with the terrible pun, "a twist". Notably, TP hosted a "Ditch Bow" event blockade in September that placed restrictions on ships entering the board and awarding Bowditch to the second-place finisher. In October, it hosted a blockade at Gauntlet Island that pitted the under-age-21 members of the flag against those who were permitted by US law to consume alcoholic beverages, promoted as "minty fresh vs. gray." TP's reputation for these events was such that no less a player than Lissanna agreed that:
"This is the coolest blockade idea ever. Mad props TP :D"
Emerald Ocean and stagnation (January 2012 - August 2012)
Twisted Parallax dropped on Admiral Island for the island's fiftieth blockade in late January 2012. As an Admiral blockade (in which Shodan, at the time a member of TP in On the Rocks was brought back as a navver for closure with Admiral I, which was won by Shodan's Go with the Flow) and the last blockade on Sage before the merger with Hunter, the blockade attracted a great deal of attention, especially when TP withdrew before the end of round 1 due to defending flag Blades of Sage raising pay while outjobbing by 70% and the entry of a third party cooperating with BoS.
Twisted Parallax continued into 2012 with success and took the initiative in integrating the old Hunter and Sage communities as the two were merged into the Emerald Ocean, coordinating an event with Illusion to help former Hunter players add former Sage islands to their known worlds and vice versa. TP was one of the first flags to win an island from the "other" side of the ocean and was the first Sage flag to win a sinking blockade against a Hunter flag (Illuminatti, at Sayers XXIII). TP continued blockading well into the spring of 2012, but by May it had become clear that the flag, which had slipped in fame and lost members and crews, was declining, with old members announcing their retirements (Skinnymonkey, the last remaining founding member, having officially stepped down at the end of April). By the end of the summer the flag was totally defunct, its active crews having joined other flags by that time. The flag remains with its dormant crews and blockade crew intact as a monument to the flag's legacy.
"I think Twisted Parallax succeeded beyond my expectations.... Without a doubt, no other flag (at this era) can say they accomplished what we accomplished."
--Skinnymonkey, farewell address, 30 April 2012
Blockade history at a glance
During its just over a year of blockading, Twisted Parallax won 14 of its 18 blockades (a win ratio of 77.8%) and paid out 18,577,462 PoE to its jobbers (for an average of 1,032,081 PoE per blockade).
|1||27 March 2011||Penobscot XXXVI||Attacking||Yes||Eternal Glory vs. Twisted Parallax||2:3||Won island|
|2||17 April 2011||Penobscot XXXVII||Defending||Yes||Twisted Parallax vs. The Enlightened||3:0||Defended island|
|3||15 May 2011||Penobscot XXXVIII||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. Rum, Wild Twisted Fun||3:0:1||Defended island|
|4||29 May 2011||Bowditch XXVIII||Attacking||No||League of Light vs. Twisted Parallax||0:3||Won island|
|5||16 July 2011||Penobscot XXXIX||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. Burning Desire||0:3||Didn't defend|
|6||16 July 2011||Bowditch XXIX||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. Hardcore Explorers||3:1||Defended island|
|7||7 August 2011||Gauntlet XLV||Attacking||Yes||Critical Mass vs. Twisted Parallax||1:3||Won island|
|8||11 September 2011||Gauntlet XLVI||Defending||Yes||Twisted Parallax vs. The Enlightened||3:1||Defended island|
|9||17 September 2011||Scrimshaw XXIX||Attacking||No||Blades of Sage vs. Twisted Parallax||1:3||Won island|
|10||23 October 2011||Gauntlet XLVII||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. The Sewing Circle||3:2 *[1:2]||Defended island|
|11||20 November 2011||Admiral XLVI||Attacking||No||Capy vs. Twisted Parallax||3:1||Didn't win island|
|12||7 January 2012||Spaniel LI||Attacking||No||Imperial Rednecks vs. Twisted Parallax||0:3||Won island|
|13||22 January 2012||Spaniel LII||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. Olympian Armada||3:0||Defended island|
|14||29 January 2012||Spaniel LIII||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. Dilligaf||3:1||Defended island|
|15||29 January 2012||Admiral L||Attacking||Yes||Blades of Sage vs. Twisted Parallax||3:0||Didn't win island|
|16||10 March 2012||Sayers XXIII||Attacking||Yes||Illuminatti vs. Twisted Parallax||0:3||Won island|
|17||18 March 2012||Gauntlet XLVIII||Defending||No||Twisted Parallax vs. Eternal Glory||3:2||Defended island|
|18||28 April 2012||Arakoua XX||Attacking||No||Illium Eternae vs. Twisted Parallax||3:0||Didn't win island|
- Gauntlet XLVII - The blockade was in fact run by Twisted Parallax as the attacker and defender as an intra-flag blockade between the under-21 members of the flag, who ran their blockade out of Twisted Parallax, and the over-21 members of the flag, who ran their blockade out of The Sewing Circle. The Old (Gray) Team, which lost round 1 to the Young (Minty Fresh) Team, was declared the winner with wins in rounds 2 and 3, at which point the blockade was stopped to allow Twisted Parallax to retain the island.